COVID-19 Updates and Resources

COVID-19 Updates and Resources

**Please check links regularly due to frequent changes to refugee restrictions and policies**

Description: COVID-19 has closed borders and brought refugee settlement to a halt in many countries. We want to make sure that you and your family have the most up-to-date information relating to your future country of travel/settlement. Below we have provided links and basic information relating to the services we focus on at Refugee Pathways. We are all in this together, and we will get through this together too.

Make sure to check the United Nations COVID-19 Platform regularly to stay updated on new changes and resources.


COVID-19 information in 49 different languages (including عربي).

ARGENTINA

Masks are required in public spaces, quarantines, and testing may be required upon arrival, and restrictions may vary significantly nationwide. For more information, contact the Argentinian Embassy in the country of your current location:


AUSTRALIA

Australia’s borders are closed. Immediate family members, Australian residents, Australian citizens, and travelers who have been in New Zealand for the previous 14 days are still allowed to travel to Australia. For more information, click here.


AUSTRIA

In context with the efforts undertaken to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs has decided to largely suspend all in-person services, including in immigration matters such as visa and residence, at the Austrian representations abroad. For more information, click here.


BELGIUM

Higher education has resumed in person with masks required. Students and family reunification are exempt from the travel ban. For more up-to-date information click here and here.


CANADA

Canada’s ability to resettle refugees is restricted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention measures in Canada and around the world. We expect to see more refugee departures to Canada as these measures are lifted. For the most up to date information pertaining to Canada’s COVID-19 restrictions click here. For generic information pertaining to your specific application, please reference below.

Kind of Program: Private Sponsorship

Who this Relates to: Refugee sponsors and refugees overseas

Some challenges affecting our resettlement work are:

  • the unique conditions in each country of asylum
  • the importance of making sure service providers and sponsors in Canada can support refugees when and after they arrive

If you’ve already sponsored refugees the Canadian government will contact you when the refugees you’re waiting for are ready to travel. You’ll need to confirm that you’re ready to welcome your sponsored refugees. This includes having a quarantine plan.

 All refugees arriving in Canada must isolate for 14 days when they arrive (reference the link provided above for the most up-to-date information). As their sponsor, you must have a quarantine plan ready for them. Share your quarantine plan with them so they know what to expect when they get here.

When any traveler arrives in Canada, one of Canada’s officers will ask them about their quarantine plan. Make sure the refugees you’re sponsoring have the details of their quarantine plan available before they leave. Our officer may contact you for more information about the plan if something isn’t clear.

Once the Canadian government contacts you, make sure everyone in your sponsorship group agrees that you’re ready to welcome and support the refugees you’ve sponsored.

If you’re sponsoring through a sponsorship agreement holder, discuss your plans with them. Make sure they agree before you tell us to proceed with the refugees’ travel plans.

See the Travel Resumption Resource Kit for Refugee Sponsors for help in preparing for the arrival of your sponsored refugees.


DENMARK

There are still restrictions on nationals from most countries to enter Denmark. For more up-to-date information, click here. For general information about Denmark and COVID restrictions pertaining to travel, click here.


EGYPT

Egypt’s school year has officially been announced as starting October 17th, 2020. The Government of Egypt has provided a COVID-19 dedicated hotline at 105 15335  or  15469  for additional inquiries (Arabic proficiency recommended). They also recommend following the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population on Facebook.


FRANCE

For more up-to-date information on French restrictions and requirements, click here. For up-to-date information on foreign nationals wishing to enter or already in France, click here.


GERMANY

Visas can currently only be issued in the specific exceptional cases listed below (for the most up-to-date information, click here):

  • Students whose studies cannot be performed entirely from outside Germany. This exemption applies to all those who have a notification of admission (even if preceded by a language course or an internship). It does not, however, apply to university applicants and those who wish to travel to Germany for a language course and then look around for a course of study (isolated language course). Documents must also be presented to border control personnel
  • Applications for family reunification. If entry into Germany for a permanent stay is possible due to one of the exceptions listed here, it is also possible for family members to enter Germany at the same time (e.g. the spouse and minor children of a skilled worker can enter Germany together with the skilled worker).
  • Persons in need of international protection or protection for other humanitarian reasons, including urgent medical reasons.

For up-to-date information on travel restrictions and border controls, click here.


GREECE

Masks are required in all public locations. There are currently local restrictions in certain parts of Greece. Click here for more up-to-date information. For more information in Greek, click here.


ITALY

On 7 October 2020, the Italian Government decided to extend the nationwide state of emergency until 31 January 2021. For more information, click here.

Facts, answers, and questions from the Italian government can be accessed here.


IRELAND

As countries reduce entry into their territories owing to the COVID-19 global health crisis, and restrictions around international air travel are introduced, travel arrangements for resettling refugees are currently subject to severe disruptions.

As a result resettlement departures for refugees are currently suspended to Ireland. This is a temporary measure that will be in place only for as long as it remains essential. These measures also apply to people arriving on the community sponsorship program.

As resettlement remains a life-saving tool for many refugees, UNHCR and IOM are working in close coordination with the Irish government to ensure that movements can continue for the most critical emergency cases wherever possible. For more information click here, and for more information relating to Ireland and COVID-19 in general click here.

Who can I contact for information and advice?

The Legal Aid Board and NGOs remain available to give assistance over the phone and by email (note the below timeframes are in Irish local time).

Legal Aid Board

Phone: 087 4563066.

Available for calls from clients Monday-Friday from 10am-12:30pm and from 2pm-4pm.

Irish Refugee Council

Phone: 01 764 5854

Email: info@refugeecouncil.ie

Nasc

Phone: 083-3071482

Email: Reception@nascireland.org

Doras Luimni

Phone: 061 310 328

Email: info@doras.org

SPIRASI

Phone: 01 838 9664

Email: info@spirasi.ie

JRS Ireland

Phone: 086-6028533

Culture

Phone: 086-1994655

Email: Info@cultur.ie


JAPAN

For the time being, foreign nationals categorized below are denied permission to enter Japan, unless special exceptional circumstances are found. For more up-to-date information as well as a list of the banned countries, click here.


JORDAN

On October 20, 2020, the Prime Minister announced that a curfew every Friday until December 31, 2020, will be imposed. All schooling will continue to be remote until the end of the first semester. For up-to-date information, click here.

For more information about COVID-19 in Jordan, click here.


LEBANON

Lebanon is having frequent local lockdowns and restrictions.

The school year started on October 12th, 2020. For more information from the Ministry of Education, click here.

For more information about COVID-19, Lebanon has set up a Coronavirus hotline 01/594459. For up-to-date infection rates, click here.


LUXEMBOURG

Third-country nationals are no longer allowed to enter the Grand Duchy; this rule will apply until 31 December 2020. {I am unsure if we want to put this next sentence in. It applies to asylum/Int’l protection status and not what we are promoting for safe pathways} [There are exemptions for persons wishing to seek international protection in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg or for other humanitarian reasons.]


NETHERLANDS

Family reunification applications are still being processed, however closures for some Consulates and Embassies are in place. For information pertaining to family reunification, students, and COVID restrictions, click here.


NEW ZEALAND

As of October 22, 2020, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is working with other government agencies, and international partners the United Nations and the International Organization of Migration (IOM) to support the safe resumption of New Zealand’s Refugee Quota Programme. This programme is currently paused due to the impacts of COVID-19, however, the New Zealand Government has agreed to resettle a very limited number of UN-referred emergency priority refugees. These emergency cases can include immediate threats to life, deportation, detention, and imprisonment. For the most up-to-date information, click here.

If you submitted or received a visa and have not heard about its current status, click here.


NORWAY

There are still heavy restrictions for entry into Norway. Most likely people traveling from the countries labeled red will have heavy restrictions on them. For a map of all countries and their designated color, click here. For questions and answers relating to citizens of countries outside Europe and residing outside of Europe, such as students, click here


PORTUGAL

Family reunification is still possible under Portugals COVID restrictions. Airports are open as of October 22, 2020, however, flights have been restricted and foreign nationals flying to Portugal need proof of allowed travel documents, for example, a family reunification visa. For more up-to-date information, click here.


QATAR

If you are arriving in Qatar you will be required to quarantine at one of the government approved quarantine hotels for one week, followed by a mother week of home quarantine. People arriving from low-risk countries may have different requirements.

For more information about how COVID-19 is affecting students, click here.

For more information in general, click here.


SPAIN

If you are traveling to Spain more information can be found here regarding paperwork and restrictions relating to COVID. Entry into Spain is closed unless the Spanish Embassy provides you with a visa for family reunification. For more information contact the Spanish Embassy in your country of location:


SWEDEN

People in need of international protection or for other humanitarian reasons are exempt from the travel ban currently in Sweden. For more information, click here. For more information pertaining to COVID-19 in Sweden, click here.


SWITZERLAND

Masks are required in all public spaces. In-person teaching is allowed again, and foreign nationals can be admitted for education and training purposes. However, there are still restrictions on nationals from most countries to enter Switzerland. For more information, click here.

You can contact the Switzerland government regarding the COVID-19 virus via email at corona@sem.admin.ch. For more information about COVID restrictions, click here.


TURKEY

As of October 15, 2020, some schools have resumed classes with a mix of in-class and distance learning/online courses. Please check with your institution for specific information. All individuals must wear cloth face coverings where people are collectively located. Local authorities may put in place additional COVID-19 restrictions, including curfews, with little or no advance notice. For more up-to-date information, click here. For more information relating to COVID cases in Turkey, click here.


UNITED KINGDOM

When you arrive in the UK, you will not be allowed to leave the place where you’re staying for the first 14 days you’re in the UK (known as ‘self-isolating’) unless you’re arriving from an exempt country. You can find the most up-to-date exempt countries here.

If you are not traveling from an exempt country, you should provide your journey, contact details, and the address where you will self-isolate before you travel. You will be able to complete the public health passenger locator form 48 hours before you arrive. You must present these details on your arrival in England.

You may be refused permission to enter the UK (if you are not a British citizen), or fined if you do not provide your contact details or do not self-isolate when you arrive in the UK. In England, if you do not adhere to the rules around self-isolating, you can be fined up to £3,200.

Read more about the government’s border health measures guidance. For more up-to-date information from the London Assembly, click here.

For information about:

  • Refugee Family Reunification, click here and reference number 16
  • Resettlement, click here and reference number 14

UNITED STATES

With specific exceptions, foreign nationals who have been in any of the countries listed at this link during the past 14 days may not enter the United States. For a full list of exceptions, please refer to this link.